Sunday, September 6, 2009

THINKING

If you haven't gotten hooked up to Donna Zagotta's art blog, you should. She talks about this art journey and how we get from one step to the next, walking the path and keeping on the straight and narrow (well, trying, anyway). I would love to sit and read every last post - and will, bit by bit. I even have begun an art journal (not a sketchbook but more about the process, where I'm going, where I've been, etc.) because I read the article she had in the October 09 issue of Watercolor Artist magazine. If you don't have this magazine, get it! If you haven't read Donna's words of wisdom and talk about her own journey and what works...and doesn't work...along the way, do it!

Because, like she says in the magazine article, "How can you know where you're going if you don't know where you've been." Take a look at your artwork...what needs work and what works well for you now...and where do you want to be by the end of this year or the start of 2010? Do you ever think about these things or do you just let things happen to you?

The paintings here were all done from March - November 2008










One of the things I did this weekend was sorted through this blog, looking for the best paintings I'd done in the last 2 years - just 2009 and 2008. I came up with 6 paintings for 2008 and I already have 8 paintings for 2009 - so I'm creating better work this year than I did last year. I also seem to get into a slump in the winter months, not creating much that I would put in the Good column, even if I still paint a lot during the winter. My best paintings are painted in the spring and summer. Now, if I hadn't gone through the work and looked at it again and written down the work and the month it was done, I wouldn't have known this. And that's just one step in the journey. Knowing where you've been (recently) and where you're going (currently). The next step is to see the strengths in those Good paintings and see why they are Good and what makes them work. What did I learn that helped me create those paintings? Asking questions is another good thing to do in your art journal.


11 comments:

Joan Sandford-Cook said...

Wonderful post Rhonda . Makes everyone think about their abilities and progress. One thing I would respond to is the fact you say you don't create 'good' works in the winter. Well, I always use the mid winter months to experiment not only with media but approach and play and not worry about creating a complete piece. Its fun, its rewarding and you definitely see the difference in the following year's production.

jgr said...

Thank you for this post! Donna's blog is great, now I'm off to buy the magazine.

Cindi said...

wow you are really causing me to think.. thank you.. i think!!! LOL i realize i have just let my art go where it wants, lately.. and i feel i've been slipping backwards... rushing thru each piece, to hurry and get to the next one.. instead of enjoying and learning from each one.. thanks rhonda.. i will read the blog you mentioned and hope i can head in a better direction...happy labor day!!

shicat said...

I liked the hydrangea too

Christiane Kingsley said...

Rhonda,
What great suggestions! I too rarely go back to look at my previous paintings to see what worked and what did not. I tend to charge ahead to the next one, then to the next one.
I enjoy following your journey.
Thank you for sharing.

laura said...

It's a great idea to review what you've done, and, in your case, you must be very happy--these are great paintings; I especially really love and adore the watermelon and papaya one--those colors are so pure and translucent!
I will check out the blog you recommend--thanks!

debwardart said...

I can always count on you for an interesting post! Looks like you made a lot of people think! I've got a journal of sorts that I've been keeping for a while - mostly just notes and - believe it or not - VALUE STUDIES - ideas for future paintings - not a formal journal but something anyway. By the way - your yellow flower is exquisite (as were your blue flowers some time ago) and I also like the fruit still life - are you seeing a pattern here! The young girl is also very good.

Barbara Sailor said...

This is such a strong post - I think we all need to take inventory sometimes - evaluate where we are, where we have been and where we are going, hopefully. I haven't noticed a creative problem in the winter particularly, but I do definitely go in creative cycles, as do many artists. I have been impressed with your efforts to push yourself to new and different directions - and your work constantly exhibits the creativity and imagination that comes from those directions.

RHCarpenter said...

Thank you so much, Joan, Jane, Cindy, Cathy, Christiane, Laura, Deb, and Barb, for stopping by and commenting on these ramblings of mine. Joan, I think my best work is done at times other than winter but I can't say what is Good and Bad and don't try to label things that way - it's too easy to get down on yourself and get into a rut. But overall, this process seems to be a matter of stopping the looking - not at something to paint - but at what you've done and where you're going. Sometimes we need to sit down and think instead of rushing forward down a path that seems to have no ending. (Having just hiked a few trails up hills that seemed to have no end in sight, I can definitely relate to that! ha ha)
I'm glad that there were some paintings you all liked and commented on here :) I am pleased that I had that many I considered worth putting on top of the pile for 2008 and have several for 2009 already - but that's for another post!

Cathy Gatland said...

Gosh, Rhonda, I've had quite a bit to catch up on here - this is a great post, very relevant to me as I realise how much I've just let things happen, for a long time! I haven't been able to log on to Donna's blog yet (my computer troubles) but will ASAP. Lovely selection of your paintings - the fruit and flower ones are especially stunning.

RHCarpenter said...

Cathy, I think we all go on autopilot at times and just do things...sometimes we can break through, almost by accident, by doing things that way; but I think it helps our focus and direction to stop and think and look a while :) Of course, it seems, at times, you can't stop due to commissions and other constraints on your creativity. Hope you get some "breathing room" for your art and it helps you in every way.